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Ford Escape Hybrid Owners: Problems & Solutions



  • testestestes Posts: 13
    Got the LGS back. The dealer had to replace the hydraulic master cylinder, the wire jump harness and the "brain". I have not had any problems since then (May 15). The car was out of service for 11 business days (according to lemon laws) and has not had any repeat problems. I am getting an avg of 29.4 mpg for the last 3 tanks of gas. I'm happy, again. :D
  • dw438dw438 Posts: 41
    Your service department must be dumb as dirt.
    This does happen, the system shuts down in order not to damage the vehicle.
    You may have a problem with the pump that regulates coolant. Very important as coolant flows not only around the engine but cools the hybrid electric system.
    It is a common problem, and the feds have issued a technical service bulletin about the problem. #05-04-10.
    The technicians will run a TSB check on the vehicle.
    Without knowing more, this could be your problem.
    Your dealer wouldn't be able to sell hybrids unless they have a trained-in-hybrids tech on duty.
  • jl1234jl1234 Posts: 3
    I just purchased a new 2006 Escape Hybrid 4WD about 2 weeks ago, and the driver's side door does not unlock with the remote. The dealer has diagnosed this as a smart junction box (SJB) failure, but they're telling me that the SJB is on back order indefinitely and they have no idea when this part will be available. The other 3 doors unlock -- it's only the driver's side door (the one that I care most about!) that doesn't unlock remotely. I can use the key to unlock it, but I have to leave the alarm system disabled in order to use the key.

    The dealer is telling me there's nothing they can do about it except wait until the part is available (they claim the part is too new, so the manufacturer is not even making it yet so it could be months from now), and they have never seen an Escape Hybrid with this problem.

    Has anyone else experienced this smart junction box / door lock problem? I'm very frustrated and wondering how to handle this issue.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    smart junction box / door lock problem?

    Keep taking it in and invoke the Lemon Law. See if that does not shake the part loose. They can remove one from a vehicle on the lot or give you the new vehicle. That is ridiculous. I have read posts on here from every manufacturer where folks are made to wait weeks and months for parts on new cars. That should not happen. Give them what for.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Keep taking it in and invoke the Lemon Law. "

    That is not going to do any good. The lemon law is invoked when a vehicle has the same part break three times, or is out of service for 30 total days in the first year.

    The part is on order, so it would not do any good for lemon law purposes to keep taking the car in. The part would have to break two more times.

    As for taking a part out of a new car, that would probably invoke some kind of laws requiring that the other Escape be sold as used (because parts were replaced). But in any case, this is not standard practice in the industry. You modify a car only in preparation for delivery to a customer, and that covers only needed modifications (add A/C, change out the wheels, etc).

    Put it another way. Would you like to buy an Escape that had a replacement part instead of the factory part?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    The point is the manufacturer should have parts available for new cars. If they are cutting it so close that they do not have spares the customer should not be the one suffering. It is in the first year and if it takes longer than 30 days to repair it should be considered a lemon law candidate. It is not just Ford. How about the guy waiting 3 months for a part on his damaged Prius. I realize that is not a warranty or lemon law issue. It is bad business not having spare parts for these new gadget loaded down cars. I guess you consider it part of the hazard of being an early adoptor. You may be right. If it was my Hybrid PU it would be sitting on their lot with the clock ticking toward getting a new PU or my money back.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "It is in the first year and if it takes longer than 30 days to repair it should be considered a lemon law candidate."

    Well, I'm not disagreeing with you, but you really should direct your thoughts to your state legislator. I was speaking of the laws as they exist in CA.

    However, one could check with an attorney who specializes in lemon law, maybe there are exceptions or something.

    I agree it is bad business.

    "If it was my Hybrid PU it would be sitting on their lot with the clock ticking toward getting a new PU or my money back."

    I guess you didn't understand my post. If the car isn't out of service, it isn't counting towards the lemon law. Loss of the use of the remote opening the driver's side does not disable the vehicle.

    You can't just park it on their lot - they would have it towed away, because there is no reason for it to be there. Again, not necessarily good business, but most dealers don't have that much customer parking, and the spaces are marked for use while people are visiting the dealership, not to leave the vehicle for an extended period. The "clock" would not be ticking towards anything except paying to get the FEH out of an impound lot, assuming it went that far...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    Loss of the use of the remote opening the driver's side does not disable the vehicle

    You are probably correct there. It is just so disgusting this lack of parts issue. At least with a Toyota and Honda they can say they are coming from Japan. How long should it take from Detroit to where ever? If they are in the process of building that vehicle they must have a few extras. Or does Ford just let the car go and have the customer do the QC? I have only bought one new Ford. A 1984 Bronco and it was never in the shop while I owned it.

    As far as parking on the lot. If the situation had deteriorated that far the vehicle would have lemons painted on it and parked on the street in front of the dealer with derogatory remarks all over it. The truth is I have not had that kind of dealer problem since I bought a new 1978 Honda Accord. In fairness to that dealer he was the Honda motorcycle dealer and Honda dumped the car business on him. I have never had a problem with a GM dealer with the last 5 new trucks I have owned.
  • dkrayziedkrayzie Posts: 5
    I think I might have the same problem, I just purchased a 2006 Escape XLS yesterday. I have found that the driver side door lock only works with the key, remote and power lock button wont work, but all other doors work. I am going to call Ford tomorrow to see what should be done about it.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    Ford probably got a whole batch of bad modules from disgruntled Delphi workers. Keep us posted how you make out. It has to be something common with more than one poster having the same issue.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Ford probably got a whole batch of bad modules from disgruntled Delphi workers."

    Ummm, you do realize that Delphi is a GM subsidiary, not Ford?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    My understanding is they sell to several auto makers including Toyota.
  • detjendetjen Posts: 6
    Drive it in low instead of drive. It's not really a low gear - it's just a programming difference. It will allow it to accellerate a bit harder/longer in electric mode - and it will turn the gas engine off sooner. It is safe to switch between Drive and Low at any speed. For highway driving where I may want to coast - I use drive. For stop and go, or lower speeds - I use low...

    I can accellerate decently and cruise along just below 40mph in electric - when in low.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    I think the real question to Ford is: "Is the production line in KC shut down? If not, why can't you divert one Junction Box for one of your customers from the 100? or so boxes being used every day to keep trucks rolling off the production line?" [I suspect the Ford knows the "good" boxes are at the plant and don't want to cost themselves any production delays.]

    Hang in there :mad:
  • detjendetjen Posts: 6
    It's a 2wd, not 4wd. We get 32mpg - but that's with a lot of 70mph use. I can easily surpass 50mpg driving 50mph and under.

    No - it's not the parking brake or the regenerative braking. It does it while accellerating, coasting, regenerative braking, regular braking...

    There have been enough injuries to rescue workers by Hybrid vehicle battery systems that we have had special training for dealing with extrication from them. This involves not only removing the key and placing it onto the dash - but disconnecting the 12v battery system and then the hybrid system. Since the squeak can't be found and fixed, how do we know it's not something wearing into the gas tank or the hybrid batteries?

    There is no way to know what it could cause when you don't know what it is doing. Prove to me that it's a strut (one of Ford's tries) - then prove to me that the strut failure won't cause the vehicle to be uncontrollable at 70mph. Tell me it's the brakes, or the bearings (as we've also been told) and you once again can't prove that a loss of that system will leave the car in a controllable state.

    I don't think it's a doomsday scenario to say that if they can't figure out what's causing it - then the vehicle shouldn't be considered safe and driveable - especially when they have been suspecting things that would cause a loss of control of the vehicle if they failed at 70mph.
  • dkrayziedkrayzie Posts: 5
    I visited my Ford dealer for my problem and was also told it was the Smart Junction box and that it is on back order 2-3weeks. Once the part is in they will need my car for a few days and give me a rental.
  • testestestes Posts: 13
    I have had this replaced on my 06 Mercury Hybrid. I had catastrophic brake failure. However, it is good now. As to wanting a junction box off the assembly line, you may not want to push for that fix. If we are seeing numerous problems with that part, then the current supplier may be providing faulty components. I would wait for a newer part.

    Most recently, my "service brake system" warning came back on. Turns out that when my hydraulic master cylinder and electronic braking systems were replaced, they failed to bleed the hydraulic portion least that is what I was told. At this point, the brake problems are all fixed.

    I have 5000+ miles on mine. Its been in the shop for 12 business days out of service. The same problem has recurred twice. According to MA lemon laws, in the first calendar year "in service" to fix the same problem 3 times, and a combination of 15 days out of service for any number of issues, then Ford gets a last effort to fix it... if everything is unsatisfactory, then the lemon law can be invoked and/or arbitration.

    I go back in tomorrow to have the cruise control repaired. I was told there are only 8 cruise switches in the US.

    I for one, am planning to support this technology. I am keeping careful records (even posting my progress here) in case this turns out to be a bad investment. Luckily, I do not have the squeaks (I have never used the emergency brake therefore haven't invoked the cable rear noise issues).

    Good luck with getting resolution on the junction box. My dealership bends over backwards when I come to the shop. I have never been nasty, only polite. So far, my politeness and flexibility have paid off with great service (and free rental cars) :) !
  • 1996z151996z15 Posts: 1
    My company has started to use the Ford Escape as a service vehicle. We stock the vehicles with some service parts and, for safety sake, I want to locate a divider that would protect the passengers in the event of an accident.
    I have not been able to find anyone who makes a cargo partition for these vehicles.
    Is anyone aware of a manufacturer of cargo partitions for the Ford Escape / Mazda Tribute platform?
  • detjendetjen Posts: 6
    Several companies make adjustable pet/cargo partitions which will work well. Here's an example:

    ">link title

    I wouldn't expect anyone to make one specific to it.
  • bcaporasobcaporaso Posts: 3
    I've read some past posts but haven't seen this and neither has the dealer. I'm here in the true No. CA. near the Oregon border. I have over 36,000 mi on my 2005. No problems until shortly before the warranty expired. Phew.

    What it's doing - high revs and little to no power when the engine is under a load. It's like the clutch is going on a manual car. The tech orignially thought it was the transmission but called today and they are still investigating. BTW if the tranie goes, apparently they replace the whole thing and not fix it.

    Anyone out there experience this? Anyone have that many miles on one yet? The guys up here work on 3 and I have the oldest one.

    Rather than that problem I love it. Great mileage for the hills and better on the flats and goes great in the snow and offroad which I do 1-4x/week winter and summer. It was between this and a slubaru. This got better mileage and was about the same price.
  • Hi there,

    Recently, I have had some problems and they're starting to get annoying. After a year of near perfect behaviour, I have been experiencing surges, the car lurches forward, the orange wrench and service soon indicator appear and the gas engine, which keeps running provides no forward momentum power. - the Electric engine wants to work, however cannot maintain the speed and I am forced to pull over and restart. Once teh engine restarts, it revs quite high until, (I suspect) the battery is full charged again.

    This has now happened to me 4 times, I have taken it to the dealership and they seem to be dumbfounded. The first time, they thought it was the master cylinder, so they replaced it. The second time they couldn't figure it out, the third time, they replaced a thermostat as they said the car thought it was overheating, the forth time, well it just happened today, so I'm off to the dealership tomorrow. A diesel Liberty is starting to look better and better all the time.

    I wish I had an answer for you; however, I'm hoping your tech figures out what's wrong.

    Post if you know the answer!

    Good luck.
  • That is definitely more annoying than not being able to pass logging trucks going up hill on a 2 lane road. Dealer and Ford have no idea what's wrong. Ford said that "it may be normal". Hummmm...I don't buy that as it didn't do it last summer. They are supposed to put a computer in the car so it'll record the events. Since I live in nowhere there's only 1 computer and it's on an F250 that is really out in the middle of nowhere.

    You must not be in California if you can get a Liberty diesel. They are touchy in the steering and seem to have a high center of gravity. Rather than that they are fun to drive and seem to be reliable. Boss has one and he's taken it to Baja and I've driven it to jobsite in all sorts of weather conditions.

    I'll post something if I find anything out.
  • detjendetjen Posts: 6
    Well - after 8 stays in the shop - for a total of 52 days - the area Ford representative agreed to reimburse us for the loss of use of the vehicle. We had to supply copies of the monthly payment and such - which we did when we picked it up on a Friday (they were finishing up the 8th time they'd fixed it).

    Saturday afternoon - it started squeaking again, and it was really loud (we were in a series of underpasses and it was echoing back to make it even worse). We took it back to the Ford dealership - and talked to the service manager to let him know that it was doing it once again - and that we'd had enough. We went from there to the Honda dealership to trade it in and be done with it. The Honda dealership said it looked perfect - but they'd have to call a ford dealership to get a value. The ford dealership wanted to know the VIN number - and then told them it was only worth $16,000. This is a 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid, with leather, appearance package, the top stereo package, and a door keypad entry and 8500 miles. The interior and exterior are perfectly clean - and no signs of wear.

    We took it to CarMax - and they offered us $22,000. Now if the car doesn't have problems - then why did the Ford dealership offer us $6,000 less than CarMax did?

    Oh - and come Monday the Ford representative renigged on the offer to reimburse us for the loss of use of the vehicle - and offered instead to swap us into another one. We didn't really want to start this nightmare again - but we were interested in whatever we could get. To swap us into a new on meant that we would pay depreciation, tax, title, license, delivery and dealer prep. Basically - we would have to pay several thousand dollars to be able to try our luck with another 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid.

    We took $5,500 out of our retirement savings, paid down our loan - and sold the car to CarMax for $22,000. It's got 26 months left on the warranty - and they have more time to allow Ford to work on it than we do. I have bought a new Super Duty Ford truck every few years for the last 22 years. I spent just shy of $50,000 on my last one in 2003. This will be the last Ford that I will ever own - because of the way that not only the Ford dealerships treated us - but how Ford itself treated us. Ford has lost me as a customer, and they have lost anyone who ever asks me what I would recommend.
  • Well, it looks like they're ordering a new computer for my car. It won't be here for another two weeks; however since no codes show up in their diagnostcs each time I bring it in, they will not cover the cost of a rental for the time it takes to get the new computer in. We're not even going to try it out for a while to see if computer problem has vanished. Sell, sell, sell. :(

    Until the new unit arrives, I will be filming my rides home with the on my video camera so they can see this problem actually exists.
  • Two quick questions.

    One, what octane gasoline do you use?
    Two, do you live or drive at a high altitude?

    I live in Denver and Toyota hybrid owners here are having the same problem. After the software is updated for altitude the car should be fine. I however, I had the dealership update the software and I am still having the problem.

    I started using premium gasoline not that long ago and have heard that cars at higher alititude will actually perform better with lower octanes. I'm going to switch gasolines and hope it helps. My fingers are crossed!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,756
    You've probably noticed the new discussions appearing all over the forums. What's happening is that we are closing the large, general discussions like this one and opening smaller discussions that deal with different problem areas and areas of interest regarding the vehicle.

    For example, here in the
    Ford Escape Hybrid Group you will now find:

    Ford Escape Hybrid Tire/Wheel Questions
    Ford Escape Hybrid Safety Issues
    New Ford Escape Hybrid Owners: Give Us Your Report
    Ford Escape Hybrid: Brake Problems
    Ford Escape Hybrid Suspension/Steering Problems
    Changes You'd Like To See in the Ford Escape Hybrid
    Escape Hybrid: Audio & Entertainment Questions
    Ford Escape Hybrid: Driving Tips & Tricks
    Ford Escape Hybrid: MPG-Real World Numbers

    to name a few of the new discussions.

    So when you are ready to post, please check the discussion list on the main Ford Escape Hybrid Group page for the appropriate discussion for yourquestion or comment. Should you have a problem or issue for which there doesn't appear to be a discussion in play, please feel free to create a new one.

    Thanks for your help in making this group a great source of information on the Ford Escape Hybrid.

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